The season of transitions is upon us. But, sadly, many of those normal passages will not be taking place this year in Western Pennsylvania. And, if they do, they won’t much resemble normal customs.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to alter public life as we have known it. That said, the evergreen question remains if public policies implemented by our elected leaders were responsible or reckless.
Sadly, we find far more of the latter than the former. And what is to come?
But there can be little argument that public policy makers have been inconsistent. Such a lack of constancy in public policy does not bode well for the future.
Arbitrarily and capriciously, large swaths of our economy were shut down. The operations of many businesses that fuel the economy remain severely restricted.
The natural, logical and expected behavior of attempting to survive by operating at levels that do not engender further losses has been deemed criminal by “The State.”
Businesses have closed, permanently, left and right. The final tally will not be pretty.
Civil society cannot survive without a functioning economy. Continuation of this kind of truncated marketplace – with dubious rhyme and no reason in how government decides who can and cannot operate and at what levels – is a recipe for even more of the anarchy we already have seen.
Independence now is a vice, per government diktat; we must come together and depend on the collective, it admonishes. Anything less is selfishness or worse. Tyranny has no better friend.
Just as imperious and vagarious has been the wholesale dismantling of an educational system that had already been seriously compromised by dubious “social justice” actors hell-bent on indoctrinating but who know not how to critically think.
Legion were the spring stories of remote “instruction” that defiled the term. Students at all levels need the discipline of being in a classroom to even have a chance to effectively learn.
The ignorant classes are the most easily manipulated classes.
All of the discombobulation of the past five months has been fueled by either a complete lack of understanding, denial or deliberate misrepresentation (with a hefty dose of fearmongering) of how the coronavirus has affected the populace.
Elementary extrapolation of disease spread and progression more than suggests an infection rate far higher than stated. At the same time, that lowers even further the already relatively low mortality rate — and that rate coming in the elderly in nursing homes and among those with serious underlying conditions, conditions that too often go unreported in the media.
There continues to be far more heat than light.
Yes, we have begun the last full meteorological week of summer. The days have grown shorter. The early morning fog rises from the dales to cap the hills. And shroud basic logic with it.
The spring and summer of our pandemic discontent appears to be headed for a fall and winter of the same – unless reason prevails.
“A man without reason is a beast in season,” goes the English proverb. And a society without reason is a stampede of beasts headed for the cliff of extinction.
Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org).